Easy Weeknight Salmon en Papillote (Salmon in Parchment)
Salmon en Papillote, quite literally translating to salmon in parchment in French, is an easy way to achieve perfectly moist, tender salmon every single time. Enclosed in little parchment packets are fresh salmon fillets and any herbs, seasoning, and citrus you want — we’re using classic flavors like lemon and dill, which work exceptionally well with salmon. Once sealed, the little parchment envelopes are transferred to an oven where they cook slowly, steaming the fish inside.
What you’ll find with en papillote cooking is that it’s quite hard to overcook the fish. This is great news for home cooks! You can add seasonal vegetables (asparagus! carrots! zucchini or squash! all delicious), but this post is more about the actual technique, which we think you’ll love!
Ingredients For Salmon en Papillote
Salmon fillets are often sold in 6 ounce portions. For this recipe, you’ll want one fresh salmon fillet per person. Skin on or off, it’s your preference.
Additionally, you’ll need fresh asparagus, white wine (or EVOO), sliced or minced shallot, a few fresh lemons (and lemon zest), thinly sliced garlic cloves, fresh dill, Kosher salt, and black pepper.
You’ll also need — you guessed it! — parchment paper! We’ve found that rectangles work better than squares when it comes to sealing properly.
If you are fresh out of parchment (it happens to the best of us), yes, you can use aluminum foil instead.
A note about buying asparagus for fish en papillote: do not reach for the largest, thickest stalks of asparagus! You want them to be on the thinner side (though not too thin) so they cook through completely and are tender when the fish is finished.
How To Cook Salmon In Parchment
Prepare the parchment packets! Preheat an oven to 400F, then lay out pieces of parchment paper. Fold each piece of parchment in half.
Place a few lemon slices to the right of the folded crease (totally fine for them to overlap), then put one salmon fillet on top. Season generously with Kosher salt and black pepper, then sprinkle with lemon zest, shallots (or thinly sliced onion), garlic, and add a few sprigs of fresh dill on top. Place asparagus pieces next to salmon, nearest to the edge of the parchment.
Pour about 1-2 Tbsp of white wine on top. If you don’t want to use wine, you can drizzle an equal amount of olive oil.
Seal the parchment! Fold the parchment over the salmon, then beginning on one side, crimp the parchment along the edge to tightly seal. You can secure with paperclips, if needed!
Place the sealed parchment packets on a baking sheet, then cook for 12-14 minutes, or until the salmon has reached an internal temperature of between 125-130 F. Cook time is largely based on the thickness of the fish. A piece of Coho salmon, for instance, which is thinner may be done in as little as 10 minutes, whereas a thicker piece of salmon could take the full 14.
Serve immediately! (No need for a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, as the lemon sliced permeate the entire piece of fish!)
We recommend the Thermapen MK4 to check for doneness on all meats!
Best Side Dishes
Even though there is fresh spring asparagus packed neatly into each salmon en papillote, we love to serve this with an arugula salad and either roasted potatoes or rice.
A few other ideas:
- Garlic Spinach and White Beans
- Well Seasoned House Salad
- Israeli Couscous Recipe
- Roasted Broccolini
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
If you’re looking for another baked seafood recipe, be sure to check out our Fish Pie! It features salmon, halibut, and shrimp, and is more of a fall or winter time comfort food. Seafood lovers will be absolutely floored by its flavor!
The salmon should be fork tender, aromatic, and light. It should have a subtle lemon and white wine sauce that permeates throughout. It’s a totally and completely beautiful dish, and we think it will impress just about everyone you serve it to.
If you make this Salmon en Papillote recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
And if this salmon recipe speaks to your soul, we think you’d absolutely love our slow baked salmon with a shallot compound butter — it’s truly ethereal!
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More seafood recipes to try!
- Crab Stuffed Shrimp
- Salmon Rillettes
- Tuna Tartare Recipe
- Grilled Swordfish Skewers with Italian Salsa Verde
- Spicy Tagliatelle with Crab, Lemon, and Capers
Tender, Flaky Salmon en Papillote
- 1 ½ lbs salmon fillet cut into (4) 6 oz pieces, skin on or off
- 2 medium lemons zested and sliced into ¼" thick rounds
- 1 tsp Kosher salt plus more for asparagus
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium shallots peeled and thinly sliced into half moons
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill
- ¼ cup white wine or EVOO, divided
- 1 bunch asparagus ends trimmed, stalks cut into 1 ½" pieces, see note below
- Preheat an oven to 400F. Fold each rectangle of parchment in half, creating two smaller rectangles.
- Assemble the salmon. Place a few lemon slices to the right of the folded crease (totally fine for them to overlap), then put one salmon fillet on top. Season with ¼ tsp Kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper, then sprinkle with ¼ each of the lemon zest, shallots, garlic, and fresh dill on top. Place asparagus pieces next to salmon (about 4-5 stalks per packet), nearest to the edge of the parchment, then sprinkle lightly with a pinch of salt.
- Fold the packets. Pour about 1 Tbsp of white wine (or olive oil) on top, then fold parchment over and on top of the salmon.
- Seal the parchment! Beginning on one side, crimp the parchment along the edge to tightly seal. You can secure with paperclips, if needed.
- Cook the salmon. Place the sealed parchment packets on a rimmed baking sheet, then cook for 12-14 minutes, or until the salmon has reached an internal temperature of between 125-130 F. Serve immediately!
- When buying asparagus for this recipe, do not get super thick asparagus. You want it to be pretty thin so that it cooks in the same time the salmon cooks.
- A thinner salmon (such as Coho salmon) will cook in less time — you can begin checking at 10 minutes, even — whereas a thicker piece of fish will take longer. This method of cooking is pretty forgiving, so somewhere between 12 and 14 and typically fine!
SUE SIPOS says
This Technique is everything! What a fabulous meal!!